LOS ANGELES (October 24, 2013) — Twenty-five years ago in the bustling Central American city of San Jose, Costa Rica, Dr. Paul Crouch, founder of Christian television leader Trinity Broadcasting Network, stepped alongside a Latin American minister who was struggling to get his own Christian TV station on the air. The miracle that grew out of that divinely inspired partnership has become part of TBN's 40-year legacy, as the tiny, fledgling Spanish-language TV station has grown into the world's largest Hispanic Christian broadcasting network, Enlace, reaching Mexico and the Caribbean, Central and South America, the United States, and western Europe with 24-hour Christian television for the entire family.
As Enlace celebrates its 25th anniversary, the network's president, Jonas Gonzalez Jr., recalls how it all started. It was the summer of 1988 and his father, Enlace founder Jonas Gonzalez Sr., was struggling to set up his first small station in the corner of a spaghetti factory in San Jose, Costa Rica. But he had hit some major obstacles. “The truth is that we were about to lose our frequency before we even got on the air,” recalled Jonas Jr. “My father had plenty of vision and direction from God, but we lacked the finances and much of the know-how to get the station on the air. That is when my father called Paul Crouch.”
Dr. Crouch, who also had a burden to reach Spanish-speaking people with Christian programming, responded by shipping a small ten-watt transmitter to Mr. Gonzalez that enabled the station to get on the air, following up later with a larger transmitter that provided a more powerful signal. “That first transmitter was so small I could hold it in one hand,” recalled Dr. Crouch, “and it only covered a few city blocks. But in sowing that tiny seed we were able to help Jonas save the station and get on the air. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Today Enlace and its EJTV youth network are the most viewed Spanish-language inspirational networks, reaching across the earth on a total of fifteen satellites. Cesar Español, Enlace's director of U.S. operations, said that since launching in the U.S. a decade ago, Enlace has exploded in popularity throughout the nation's Hispanic communities. “Our research shows that many of America's 52 million Latinos are actively reaching out for greater spiritual reality in their lives and families,” said Español. “And each day more of them are tuning in to the life-changing message they find on Enlace and EJTV.”
The popularity of the two networks is confirmed by the fact that Enlace has logged an amazing 1.3 million fans on its Enlace Facebook page, and EJ is close behind with over one million likes on the EJTV Facebook page.
Several Latin American leaders have also endorsed Enlace, offering their congratulations on the network's 25th anniversary. In his congratulatory letter President Porfirio Lobo of Honduras noted that “Enlace has been a key component in Honduras for its imprinting of social and moral values on the family and society.”
Similarly, President Sebastian Piñera of Chile offered “warmest greetings to all the family of Enlace television on reaching your 25th anniversary.... Twenty-four seven and everyday you have been able to take the Word of God and the Gospel through Enlace.”
And President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica enthusiastically acknowledged that for 25 years Enlace has “broadcast a spiritual message of peace and reconciliation to all families.”
It is no secret why Enlace and EJTV are the go-to inspirational networks for tens of millions of Hispanic viewers. Enlace features impacting church programs from a wide variety of Christian denominations, the best in inspirational music, movies and talk shows the whole family will enjoy, and much more. And EJTV has become the channel of choice for millions of Hispanic youth, with relevant music, talk, and reality shows, extreme sports, movies, and other programs designed to inspire teens and young adults.
TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch noted that for the past 25 years “TBN has had the privilege of partnering with Enlace to broadcast the best in Spanish-language faith and family programming. We've been thrilled to witness the explosive growth of these two key members of our Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, and we're looking forward to their increasing influence around the world.”
Colby May, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 972-313-9500
About the Trinity Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network is the world’s largest and most watched faith-and-family broadcaster, reaching over 175 nations across the earth with inspirational and entertaining programming 24 hours a day in 14 languages and on 32 global networks. As the world’s most influential non-profit religious broadcaster, TBN has led the way in expanding the impact of faith-based television across the earth through the creation of innovative content designed to reach every viewer demographic with the life-changing message of hope and grace. To find out more about the TBN Networks, visit us at www.tbn.org.
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